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In The News

In the News

More New Studies in the form of TRANSLATIONAL research to benefit countless citizens…

Tamara Hew-Butler, D.P.M., PhD
Assistant Professor
Exercise Science Program

Current Projects (2013) using the DEXA scan:

1) The Irisin Project, Phase 1: Exercise and Plasma Irisin Concentrations in Fit and Unfit Humans. We are using the DEXA scan to assess differences in body composition (lean, fat and bone mass) in habitual runners versus a sedentary control group in our preliminary “proof of concept” studies linking blood irisin concentrations with favorable metabolic health and metabolic (brown) fat activation.


2) The Irisin Project, Phase 2: Exercise and Plasma Irisin Concentrations in Unfit Humans Participating in a 12-week walk/run Training Program. We are using the DEXA scan to assess changes in body composition (lean, fat and bone mass) in overweight/obese and sedentary individuals before and after a 12 week training (run/walk) program in preparation for a 5km race. We theorize that running will increase blood levels of the “exercise hormone” (irisin) which will stimulate brown fat activation and lead to sustained weight loss (unlike diet, which generally results in weight regain).


3) The Student Athlete Project: We are using the DEXA scan to assess pre and post-season changes in body composition in athletes ingesting a protein supplement (Muscle Milk
™) during and after daily training sessions. In this observational study, we are assessing the potential benefits (↑ muscle mass, ↑ strength, ↓ fat, ↓ injuries) versus the potential risks (toxic metal accumulation, gastrointestinal discomfort, renal problems) of protein supplementation. The Oakland University athletes are already participating in the “Performance Fueling Project”, which began in November 2012.


Human Performance and Injury Prevention
Joseph Guettler, M.D.
Head Team Physician, OU Athletics
Director, Beaumont Sports Medicine Education and Research

Current Prevention Research:

Dr. Guettler, along with a team of OU and Beaumont researchers, recently completed a research project that will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The project utilized an advanced MRI technology that was able to image very early cartilage damage in the knee that is otherwise undetectable. OU swimmers (low impact) were compared to OU basketball players (high impact). The findings of the study have dramatic implications related to preventing the development of degenerative athritis later in life through the use of lower-impact in- and off-season training regimens in young athletes. In addition, Dr. Guettler is the Chief Investigor on a national youth pitching initiative sponsored by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. This study is currently ongoing and involves multiple centers across the United States. Through the largest database ever collected relating to youth pitching, the study seeks to clearly establish causative factors related to the increasing prevelance of shoulder and elbow injuries in growing pitchers, as well as prevention strategies to reduce the risk of injury.

Dr. Guettler is currently working with Dean Hightower and the OU Leadership Team to develop a state-of-the art Human Performance Center that would be housed in the new Health Sciences complex. The center will seek to study all aspects of human performance, as well as injury prevention. From the application of advanced training regimens in NCAA athetes, to the optimization of gait kinematics following joint replacement surgery, to the prevention of ACL tears in young female athletes, to the prevention of hip fractures in the elderly, this center will handle all aspects of performance and prevention. The center will serve at a research hub for multiple training disciplines at OU and Beaumont Health System, and it will quickly gain national recognition through it's innovative approach to the optimization of human health and wellness.

Funded by a grant from the US Department of Education’s National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Dr. Patricia Wren, Associate Professor and Health Sciences Program Director, is one of the lead investigators on
"Preparations for In-Home Testing of Brain-Computer Interfaces Operating Assistive Technology.” While brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have developed to the point where they could benefit people with significant physical impairments, they are not yet commercially available for in-home use. BCI research, although rapidly expanding, has largely focused on signal processing advances, not on practical hurdles to home BCI use. Thus, there is a critical need to obtain input from people with physical impairments on BCI design for in-home use. Dr. Wren will be conducting in-depth focus groups with target user populations including people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), neuromuscular diseases, spinal cord injury, and cerebral palsy. Participants and their caregivers will help identify desired BCI functionality, barriers to BCI use, top priority for at-home tasks, and preferences between wearable electrode caps and surgically-implantable BCIs.

Research is focused on Oncology Rehabilitation
Professor Doghtery’s research is focused on Oncology Rehabilitation which truly encompasses the Core Mission of Prevention Research. The Center is currently funding several of her initiatives:
  1. Need for a Rehabilitation Referral for Oncology Patients Receiving Radiation Therapy: A Descriptive Study.
  2. The Effectiveness of a Comprehensive Cancer Rehabilitation Program as Perceived by the Cancer Survivor and Caregiver: An Exploratory Study
  3. The Effects of Exercise and Donepezil on Cognitive Impairments During Chemotherapy Treatment: A Pilot Study
  4. Scapular Dyskinesis in Post Surgical Breast Cancer Patients: A Correlation Study
Grant Awarded by the Elsa U. Pardee Foundation
Marie-Eve Pepin, assistant professor in the School of Health Sciences Physical Therapy program, was awarded a grant by the Elsa U. Pardee Foundation for pilot research--- Shoulder Function in Women Following Breast Cancer Treatment: A Comparison Study.

The research team includes Jacqueline Drouin (School of Health Sciences), Janet Seidell (Beaumont), Dr John Maltese (Beaumont) and Pam Levangie (Sacred Heart University).

The number of women in survivorship following breast cancer has increased due to improvements in detection and treatment; however many are experiencing shoulder movement problems and pain that interferes with their self-care, work, and recreation activities. One of the goals is to measure and describe the impact of physical therapy intervention on all shoulder measures in women with lymphedema.

Children with Cerebral Palsy helped

Dr. Melodie Kondratek is an Assistant Professor in the Physical Therapy program, School of Health Sciences.

Her clinical work at OMPT Specialists (Southfield, MI) includes working with children diagnosed with cerebral palsy and secondary orthopedic conditions, and adults with orthopedic conditions. The team, including Dr. Ira Zaltz (Pediatric Orthopedics-Beaumont) and Dr. Susan Youngs (Pediatric Physiatry -Oakwood) is assessing the 'Outcomes of Percutaneous Myofascial Lengthenings (Percs) in Children with Cerebral Palsy'. Percs, a minimally invasive alternative to open tendon lengthenings, has promising anecdotal results. This study will be the first to describe the cardiopulmonary, gross motor and flexibility outcomes following Percs to release muscle and fascial contractures in children with CP.

School of Health Sciences and Beaumont Wound Care Center examine new ways to treat old wounds
Dr. Sara Maher, is an Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy program, School of Health Sciences.

She joins forces with Beaumont's Carol Benton and Dawn Schoehnerr in the Wound Care Unit. The project: Application of Ultrasonic-Assisted Wound Therapy to Improve Healing in Patients with Chronic Venous Insufficiency. They will investigate a new method of helping persons with wounds due to chronic venous insufficiency, adding ultrasound to the treatment. Ultrasound has been shown to decrease bacteria, cause less pain, and heal wounds faster. These benefits could decrease the cost of health care and improve patient satisfaction with the treatment. After this pilot trial, later studies will examine ultrasound treatment with other populations at risk for chronic wounds.

Improving Quality of Life of Female Cancer Survivors
Professor Robert Jarski, Director of the Complementary Medicine and Wellness Graduate Certificate Program in the School of Health Sciences teams with Beaumont doctors, Frank Vicini, M.D., Corporate Chief of Oncology and Ruth Lerman, M.D., Staff Physician, William Beaumont Breast Care Center.

The team will study the unique multimodal Silver Linings Workshop for Breast Cancer Survivors on cancer symptoms, psychosocial functioning and quality of life of female cancer survivors, and evaluate the BrA method of breast self-exam. Sixty-eight female patients will be randomized into treatment and control groups and pre-/post-evaluated using three validated, standardized instruments. Major outcomes will include expansion of the Silver Linings workshops to meet the needs of more cancer patients with a wider variety of diagnoses; improved patient and community satisfaction with the unique scope of effective, research-validated interventions offered only by Beaumont Health System/Oakland University; plans to procure further, extramural funding based on successful completion of this research; and national recognition for Beaumont Health System and Oakland University for innovations in cancer survivorship and mind-body medicine that promote humanistic, patient-centered services and a model for educating medical students.

Oakland University and Beaumont Hospital researchers team to Fight Eye Disease
Researchers from the Eye Research Institute at Oakland University and the Department of Ophthalmology at Beaumont Health System have teamed to investigate the possible use of the enzyme microplasmin in the treatment of eye disease. Findings suggest that it may be useful to perform an enzymatic vitrectomy in patients with ischemic retinal disease, in order to increase vitreal oxygen levels.

Oakland University/Beaumont Adolescent Obesity Study
This prospective randomized, controlled trial of lifestyle changes (specifically, improved exercise and diet) on psychosocial measures, body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness, and cardiovascular disease risk factors in obese children is entering the internal review board and funding stage ahead of its anticipated fielding in 2008. The study’s rigorous design features large sample sizes, robust quantitative measures and statistical analyses of physiological parameters, along with novel survey instruments for gauging dietary intake and especially quality-of-life outcomes; all of which should result in a substantial contribution to the sum of knowledge on this important subject.

Cancer patients benefit Oakland University Research
Oakland University teams with the Beaumont Health System to begin research on wellness and health promotion in people undergoing treatment for cancer. Led by Oakland University Associate Professor, Dr. Jacqueline Drouin from the Physical Therapy Program in the School of Health Sciences, an inaugural study will measure energy expenditure during radiation treatment to determine the degree that physical de-conditioning contributes to fatigue. Later studies are planned to examine the effects of moderate intensity exercise on not only fatigue, but physical fitness, immune factors, and survival. Oakland University and the Beaumont Health System are well-positioned to begin this collaborative work on health promotion in individuals with a cancer diagnosis due to their combined expertise in cancer care and a long history of research on health promotion and wellness.